FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State University researchers called for a total 10 named storms, including four hurricanes, to form during the 2014 season in Monday’s report.
Just in time for the beginning of hurricane season Sunday, the team predicted tropical cyclone activity will be about 70 percent of the average season this year, compared to the 45 percent of average last year. This is the 31st year that CSU researchers have issued their hurricane forecast.
The prediction is up slightly from the team’s April forecast, foreseeing 10 named storms instead of nine and four hurricanes instead of three, with one reaching major hurricane strength (sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.)
It is still below-average for the Atlantic basin because of the likely development of an El Niño and the persistence of cool anomalies in the tropics.
“Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the report. “But we have seen some conditions change in a manner to make the season slightly more favorable for storm formation, which prompted us to increase our predictions.”
According to the report, there is a 40 percent chance that a major hurricane will hit a U.S. coast this year, with a 22 percent chance on the East Coast and a 23 percent risk for the Gulf of Mexico.
The CSU report began when Herbert Riehl, world-renowned hurricane researcher, and his doctoral student, Bill Gray, came from Chicago to Fort Collins and began the Atmospheric Science department at CSU in 1962, according to their website.
The CSU team will issue a brief update on July 1 and a final full forecast on July 31. Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.AlertMe